Dear U2: Suck It

Two things that aren’t good for a person’s soul: 1 – feeling like you are the only one in the world who feels a particular way about something and 2 – getting an idea, the realization of which might alleviate the aforementioned feeling, but not acting on it.

I’m a total U2 apostate. I used to like ’em, up to around the Joshua Tree, I guess, but I don’t anymore. It didn’t happen all at once, but by increments. The first thing that happened was that ep with the duet with B.B. King, When Love Comes to Town. Piece of crap song that it was, it set me to doubting whether my faith was something that could be sustained in the face of it (kinda ruined B.B. for me, too), but then, someone or other made an offhanded remark about U2 acting as though they had discovered American R&B. Was it an accurate statement? I don’t know, but it produced an epiphanic moment of sorts for me: U2 did kind of come across like self-important dinks. Did I start hating them right then and there? Not really, but I did stop loving.

From there, and coinciding with the beginning of university for me, not caring evolved into a bit of a not-liking position that was mostly real (discovering the Replacements really helped) and partly just for show, which evolved further still, with my early volunteering experiences with campus radio at CJSR, into a bona fide recognition that there was all sorts of music in the world that I liked a whole lot more and I did not have to smell what these Irish farts were cooking.

Then came the Negativland incident. My transformation was complete, though U2 still seemed so dead-set on turning themselves into such an obnoxious spectacle that it simply would not suffice to ignore them as I could most arena rock yobs, or merely dislike them.

And so it’s gone on for lo these many years now. There’s not a goddamn thing those bastards can do right in my eyes, from advertising cellphones to, most recently, bilking their fans an extra 5o bones for the “privilege” of getting a slightly earlier chance than others to buy tickets for their new tour that are still going to be 30 miles from the stage, and “discounts” on their shit merch.

I’ve always felt a little bit alone in this respect. I mean, besides me, who doesn’t love U2 and put up with their self-aggrandizing, posturing crap? This is not good for my soul. I know there’s gotta be at least one other person out there in the world who feels, if not the same as I do, then similarly enough. I’m putting out the call, right here, right now. If you feel like me, please know that I share your pain, or if you know someone who does, please share this link. Why should we be apart when we can hate U2 together?

    • sam
    • November 5th, 2009

    I don’t disagree with you. After War my love of their music pretty much falls off. And Bono can go lick it. He’s really turned into a self aggrandized jerk who thinks he can tell whole governments what to do while creating campaigns that will do little but put more money in the pockets of the Gap.
    But I am a hypocrite and would like to see them live. But the whole time I will be imagining myself in a small Irish pub while they were still that strange combination of Catholic punk rockers.

    • Rich
    • November 5th, 2009

    I really like this piece, Craig. They’re in it for the money, not the art. And as for making poverty history? I’d be more likely to shell out that $50 for a U2 dot com subscription if it were going to someone who could use the $50. What assholes.

    • christine
    • November 5th, 2009

    after all these years, I did not realize we also had the distain for U2 also in common! The Negativeland incident really did it for me as well as their self-righteousness. Don’t even get me started on Bono’s sunglasses!

    • Shuyler Jansen
    • November 5th, 2009

    I think this particular episode of Southpark nails what you’re saying although I did air guitar to U2 in grade 8 and 9 and think Achtung Baby was their last really great record, plus hearing “Sunday Bloody Sunday” grocery shopping the other day was really funny. Now I know why you despised The Naked & the Dead, although we were slightly Replacements, we were also slightly U2! Har

      • 68comeback
      • November 5th, 2009

      Despised is such a strong word, and even U2 know that you’re supposed to face the customers when you play. But you learned.

    • sam
    • November 5th, 2009

    Bono is BALD too. And he hides it under fake bad looking hair.

    • Big Joe
    • November 5th, 2009

    You have hit the nail on the head sir. Unfortunately not Bono’s head. I think the realization I hate U2 started about the same moment I realized that calling oneself Bono Vox is nearly as pretentious as calling oneself The Edge. What a couple of dinks!

  1. The last thing I liked by them was that fluke b-side single hit, The Sweetest Thing. Haven’t liked anything since, didn’t like much before that beyond the first album and a few scattered songs.

    They’re like a bombastic Alan Parsons Project.

    • shlingley
    • November 5th, 2009

    AND they made the most boring 3-D movie of all time. And I think Bono might have killed Michael Hutchence and made it look like auto-erotic asphyxiation because he was one album away from proving that INXS was U2 without the messianic posturing. Shhhhhhh.

    • Rich
    • November 6th, 2009

    And now, how fitting it seems that people without free tickets to the free Berlin Wall anniversary show were prevented from seeing said free concert–by a makeshift wall. Kinda poetic. Or something.

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